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Ostade was the son of a weaver and worked in Haarlem. He produced a vast oeuvre that mainly consisted of genre scenes about peasant life. While they are often comical and sometimes grotesque, his paintings were intended to be moralising illustrations of human behaviour.

Later in Ostade's career his work became more respectable in tone, here the atmosphere is of relaxed, comfortable companionship. Ostade has used his typical palette of earthy colours that are only interrupted by the woman's white headscarf and red top.

Details

  • Title: Interior of a Cottage
  • Date: c.1670
  • Physical Dimensions: w275 x h341 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: A version recorded in Berlin, Weustenberg sale, 27 Oct. 1908, lot 51 (photograph Witt Library).Possibly from Bryan sale (along with other pictures now at DPG): London, Michael Bryan; his sale London, Christie’s, 6 Mar. 1801, lot 59. Bt in for £34.13.
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: ?Amsterdam, J. P. Wierman Sale, 18 Aug. 1762, lot 37; London, Noel Desenfans, 1802-1807: London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 18 Mar. 1802, lot 149 (Descriptive Catalogue no. 75) (£110.5. bt in); 1804 Insurance List, no. 122; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Hofstede de Groot considered that this dated from late in Ostade’s career, a period when he increasingly concentrated on modest scenes of peasants enjoying the pleasures their station in life afforded them. There is also a degree of nobility in these peasants that is absent from those in his earlier riotous tavern scenes: they have carefully individualised features rather than generic masks. This painting by Ostade may have been in Desenfans’ possession from about 1790-1, and it was definitely included in his 1802 sale of ‘Polish’ pictures. It may have been originally purchased for Stanislaus Augustus. It is the sort of representative sample of Ostade’s late style that would have been appropriate for a royal or national collection.
  • Artist: van Ostade, Adriaen
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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